The absence of circumstances falling under any of the

The
golden rule that runs through the web of criminal jurisprudence is that ‘the accused is presumed to be innocent until
the guilt is proved’. The onerous responsibility to prove all the ingredients
of an offence rests upon the prosecution. If the prosecution has not proved the
guilt according to the standards of proof, there arises a reasonable doubt and
the accused gets benefit of acquittal.  However,
this is not a immutable principle. Exceptions enumerated under sec 105 and sec
106 place a part of burden of proof on the accused to prove facts which are
within his knowledge. Sec 113-A of the evidence act raises a presumption as to abetment
of suicide by a married woman by her husband or his relatives. Similarly, sec
114-A raises presumption of absence of consent in a rape cases. The evidential
burden is on accused.1

The
said rule does not reduce the burden on the prosecution to prove that the
accused has committed the offence beyond the reasonable standards. The legal
presumption under sec 105 with the words “the court shall presume the absence
of such circumstances” is not intended to displace the aforesaid traditional
burden of the prosecution. It is only where the prosecution has proved its case
with reasonable certainty that court can depend upon the presumptions regarding
absence of circumstances falling under any of the exceptions. the presumptions
helps the court to determine the on whom is the burden to prove facts necessary
to attract the exception. Unlike the prosecution, the accused can be discharged
the burden of proof based on the ‘preponderance of probabilities’ 2  

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It
is also equally well settled principle that suspicion however strong cannot
take place of proof. There is indeed a difference between ‘accused may have committed
the crime’ and ‘accused must have committed the crime’. This
evidential burden is on the prosecution to prove the guilt by adducing the
reliable and cogent evidence. Presumption of innocence has also been recognised
as an important human right which cannot be disregarded in Indian criminal
jurisprudence as well as human rights prespective.3

The
same concept has been reiterated in the decision by the supreme court as

“Every
accused is presumed to be innocent unless his guilt is proved. The presumption
of innocence is a human right subject to statutory exceptions, the said
principle forms the basis of criminal jurisprudence in India”4

1 P.N.Krishna Lal v.
Govt. of Kerala, 1995Supp (2)S.C.C.187.

2 Periasami v. State of
Tamilnadu(1996)6 SCC 457.

3 Narendra Singh v. State of M.P (2004) 10 SCC 699.

4 Ganesan v. Rama
Raghuraman, (2011) 2 SCC 83

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